Department of Agriculture: Further Reading

  • Chris Edwards

General Resources

Cato Institute. Cato’s website provides extensive research on agricultural subsidies and related trade barriers.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance. The CFDA website has an official listing and description of all federal subsidy programs, including Department of Agriculture.

Congressional Research Service. The CRS issues dozens of briefing papers on farm policies and farm legislation. CRS studies are available here.

Environmental Working Group. The EWG has a searchable database that includes how much each farm business has received in federal subsidies.

Government Accountability Office. The GAO has produced dozens of reports on the operations of USDA programs. You can search for GAO studies here.

U.S. Department of Agriculture. The USDA’s Economic Research Service generates large amounts of information on farm income, production, and trade.

U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Office of Inspector General  investigates waste, fraud, and abuse in the department’s programs.

Washington Post. The newspaper’s “Harvesting Cash” series did an excellent job describing the contradictions in U.S. farm policies. 

Agricultural Subsidies

Chris Edwards, “Agricultural Policy,” Cato Handbook for Policymakers, 7th ed. (Washington: Cato Institute, 2009).

Chris Edwards and Tad DeHaven, “Farm Subsidies at Record Levels as Congress Considers New Farm Bill,” Cato Institute Briefing Paper no. 70, October 18, 2001.

Daniel Griswold, “Grain Drain,” Cato Institute Trade Policy Analysis no. 25, November 16, 2006.

Russell Lamb, “The New Farm Economy,” Regulation 26, no. 4 (Winter 2003-2004).

Jim Monke, “Farm Commodity Policy: Programs and Issues for Congress,” Congressional Research Service, September 1, 2006.

David Orden, Robert Paarlberg, and Terry Roe, Policy Reform in American Agriculture (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999).

David Orden, “Reform’s Stunted Crop,” Regulation 26, no. 1 (Spring 2002).

Dairy Policies

Ralph Chite, “Dairy Policy Issues,” Congressional Research Service, June 16, 2006.

Sallie James, “Milking the Customers,” Cato Institute Trade Policy Analysis no. 24, November 9, 2006.

Dan Morgan, Sarah Cohen, and Gilbert Gaul, “Dairy Industry Crushed Innovator Who Bested Price-Control System,”Washington Post, December 10, 2006.

Sugar Policies

Government Accountability Office, “Sugar Program: Supporting Sugar Prices Has Increased Users’ Costs While Benefiting Producers,” GAO/RCED-00-126, June 2000.

Mark A. Groombridge, “America’s Bittersweet Sugar Policy,” Cato Institute Trade Briefing Paper no. 13, December 4, 2001.

Remy Jurenas, “Sugar Policy Issues,” Congressional Research Service, September 4, 2001.

Aaron Lukas, “A Sticky State of Affairs: Sugar and the U.S.-Australia Free-Trade Agreement,” Cato Institute Free Trade Bulletin no. 8, February 9, 2004.

Aaron Schwabach, “How Free Trade Can Save the Everglades,” Georgetown International Environmental Law Review14 (Winter 2001).

U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration, “Employment Changes in U.S. Food Manufacturing: The Impact of Sugar Prices,” February 2006.

Trade Issues

Daniel Griswold, Stephen Slivinski, and Christopher Preble, “Ripe for Reform,” Cato Institute Trade Policy Analysis no. 30, September 14, 2005.

Daniel Sumner, “Boxed In,” Cato Institute Trade Policy Analysis no. 32, December 5, 2005.

U.S. International Trade Commission, “The Economic Effects of Significant U.S. Import Restraints: Fifth Update 2007,” Investigation no. 332-325, February 2007.

Food Subsidies

Douglas Besharov, “We’re Feeding the Poor as if They’re Starving,” American Enterprise Institute, December 1, 2002.

Robert Rector, “Reforming Food Stamps to Promote Work and Reduce Poverty and Dependence,” Heritage Foundation, June 27, 2001.

George Kent, “WIC’s Promotion of Infant Formula in the United States,” International Breastfeeding Journal, April 20, 2006.

Forest Service

Robert Nelson, A Burning Issue: A Case for Abolishing the U.S. Forest Service (Lanham, ND: Rowman and Littlefield, 2000).

Randal O’Toole, Reforming the Forest Service (Covelo, CA: Island Press, 1988).

Randal O’Toole, “The Perfect Firestorm: Bringing Forest Service Wildfire Costs under Control,” Cato Institute Policy Analysis no. 591, April 30, 2007.

Roger Sedjo, “The National Forests: For Whom and For What?” PERC Policy Series no. PS-23, August 2001.


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